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How to Calculate the Cost of a Casino Bonus

With the current stiff competition in the casino industry, operators have resolved to use lucrative bonuses and promotions to lure new players to join their sites as well as loyal players to continue using their platform. These bonuses vary from one casino to the next and they are rewarded in form of free spins, bonus games, reload bonus, 100% match bonus, and etc.

But the are they really free as they are portrayed? Or Is it a trap to drain your account?

One funny thing about most (if not all) casino bonuses is that you must part with some money from your account before you withdraw the winnings. Crazy, Huh! Moreover, in order to withdraw your winnings, you must meet some wagering requirements and this will also vary depending on the casino or game you are playing.

Before you get started, it is important to understand that it is not compulsory to take or use a casino bonus offer, you can ignore it if it's not pleasing you. But if you go for it, ensure to read and understand the terms and conditions first.

Three Factors for Calculating the Cost of a Bonus
To understand how much a bonus will cost, you will require three key elements:

The wagering requirement
The wagering percentage contributed by a game
The house edge of the game

The Wagering Requirement
A wagering requirement in a bonus is the number of times the deposit and bonus amount must be wagered before the winnings can be withdrawn. On average, the wagering requirement range between 20 to 50 times, depending on the site you are using.

The Wagering Percentage of a Game
This is the wagering percentage contributed by a game to the overall wagering requirement and it differs from one game to another. This figure acts as a multiplier of the wagering requirement, for instance, if a game has a wagering percentage contribution of 50 %, you will have to wager twice as much to meet the requirement. All online slots have a 100%wagering percentage contribution.

Nonetheless, the wagering percentage contributed by games like Blackjack, Baccarat, and Roulette is more complex because each operator has different requirements for these casino game variations. A good example is all casinos powered by Microgaming take 8% from Blackjack games. This implies that the wagering requirement will be higher than the initially stated 25 times.

The House Edge of a Game
This is the percentage of the sum total of all wagers taken that the house or casino expects to retain in the long run. This means that a game with a house edge of 10% will profit the casino 10% in the long term.

It is important to understand that some games have a lower house edge than other, for example, whilst Blackjack has a house edge starting from as low as 1%, games like Keno have bad odd bets with over 50% house edge.

Understanding the Bonus Trap
One thing you need to understand that casino operators are in business, meaning, they must make a profit in the long run. Although players may win big prizes, the operator earns long-term profits. This is how:

The wagering requirement, the percentage contributed by the game, and the house edge merge to ensure that the player's wagering stays at a level where the expected loss is higher than the bonus amount.
If you opt to gamble without the bonus offer, your possible loss is calculated in the following way:

Possible loss = Amount wagered x House Edge

For example, if you wager 1000 credits on a game with 1.5% house edge, your expected loss is 15 credits.

Gambling to cash out a bonus, the total amount you will be expected to wager will be determined by the wagering requirement and the percentage contribution of the game, thus:

Total Amount Wagered = (Deposit + Total Bonus) x WR x (100/% Contribution of the Game)

Thus: Expected loss = (( Deposit + Total Bonus) x Wagering Requirement x (100 /% Contribution of the Game)) x House Edge

Let us take a Blackjack, for example, you are rewarded with 100% match bonus of 50 with 30 times wagering requirement on your favorite Blackjack with a house edge of 0.5% or 0.005 and 10 percent contribution to the total wagering requirement.

Your expected loss will be:
Expected loss = ((50+50) x 30 x(100/10)) x 0.005

Therefore, your expected loss in this game will be 150 credits.
In short, the total amount you are expected to wager in order to cash out the 50 bonus will have to incur a loss of 150.

This is the naked truth about online casino bonuses, thus, think twice before you rush for a casino bonus offer.

Final Thoughts
As aforementioned, not all casino bonuses are bad. Online slots enthusiasts have nothing to worry about as the games have 100% contribution with many casino operators offering low wagering requirements of up to 20%. But if you are a table and cards person, we suggest you read and understand the game contribution before you accept the bonus offer. Remember, you are not obliged to take the bonus.

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How to Calculate the Cost of a Casino Bonus


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